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A grant from £75,000 to £150,000 is available for the Implementation phase of the process. This means the implementation of an innovation to produce tangible real examples of changed practice, testing the innovation to see how it compares to existing solutions. Often using pilot projects to move beyond proof of concept, this stage establishes how an innovation performs in practice – indicating whether it is successful and should be scaled-up.

View projects we have funded in this phase.

Please apply via our online grant management system:

Implementing a tested innovation in a humanitarian setting is the fourth phase in the innovation process

By Implementation we mean rigorous experimental trials and the collection of data to build evidence that the idea really works in practice.

Development and implementation are two stages that are strongly interlinked in the innovation process where fluidity is key to create wider impact. But we see development as a preliminary stage involving initial testing in the field as opposed to implementation which is a more mature phase involving refinements for wider testing and scale readiness.

Types of Implementation projects we fund

  • Testing and validating methods and business models
  • Testing and validating social impact and cost-effectiveness
  • Making operational refinements
  • Building paths to sustainability and scale

Examples of Implementation projects

Linking Communities to Mine Action – Strengthening Community Liaison through Digital Platforms is a project by the Danish Demining Group (DDG)
This project is piloting a two-way communication web portal and parallel SMS service that will improve the information provision and exchange between the people living in the affected communities and the Mine Action (MA) actors assisting these communities. The aim is to encourage better cohesion between MA actors and affected communities to ensure more effective mine action.

Every Second Matters for Mothers and Babies TM – Uterine Balloon Tamponade (UBT) project by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
MGH developed the UBT to address the high rates of maternal deaths. UBT involves placing a balloon within the uterine cavity and inflating it with water to achieve tamponade and arrest bleeding. The kit can be assembled from components readily available in resource-limited settings and includes a training program for maternal health workers to utilise the UBT.By mitigating the number of maternal deaths, community rebuilding, recovery, and resilience will be promoted.

What we don’t fund

Any application to the HIF must be related to a humanitarian context and meet the eligibility criteria below. We do not consider applications for the following types of projects:

  • Replication of existing solutions or practices (e.g. building schools or orphanages)
  • Individuals or private sector without partners
  • Projects that exclusively serve religious purposes
  • Political campaigns
  • Expansion of private business


(1) Humanitarian
The aim of your project must be to improve humanitarian practice. Guided by the Global Humanitarian Assistance’s definition we see “Humanitarian aid” as aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies. We do not accept applications for projects that are to be applied in wider development contexts.

(2) Innovation
The aim of your project must be an innovation: creating and implementing a new or improved technology, product or process. The innovation must contribute to improving the relevance, appropriateness, coverage, efficiency or effectiveness of humanitarian aid relative to existing practices.

(3) Field Experience
We welcome applications from all sectors. However, at least one of the partner organisations must be able to demonstrate experience working in humanitarian response. This is to ensure that the innovation is embedded in the humanitarian context and to improve the chances of systemic impact.

Two-stage Process

Applying for a development grant is a two-stage process:

First stage
Expressions of Interest (EoI) must be submitted via our online grant management system by 2 December 2016. Initial screening will be carried out within the first 2 weeks after the EoI deadline.

Expressions of Interest will not be considered if:

• The application is incomplete
• The applicant, project or costs are not eligible
• The application was received after the proposal submission deadline
• If legal registration documents are not provided. (If there is a valid reason why you cannot provide these documents on time please contact us)

Second stage
Successful applications at this phase will then be invited to submit a full proposal.
If invited to submit full project proposals, applicants have between 16 December 2016 – 24 January 2017 to submit. A detailed screening of the proposals will commence, including enclosed budgets, and the capacity of the applicant will be judged in accordance with our selection criteria.

The proposals will then be sent to the HIF Grants Panel and the final selection will be announced approximately three months later, in March 2017.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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